OK football fanatics, I’m back with another NFL recap blog post. The Wiz is still out of commission, so I will continue to hold down the fort in writing until he gets back in the SI Kids RADIO studio. I know you love hearing my lovely voice, but for now, this will have to do. But enough about me and the Wiz, we have a crazy weekend of NFL action to recap. Let’s get down to it.
FIRST AND GOAL
The four biggest stories in football this weekend. As always, answer the questions and give me your favorite stories from Week 6 in the comments section below.
1. Jim Harbaugh needs to work on his manners
The San Francisco 49ers new head coach pulled off a dramatic road upset over the Lions to get to 5-1 and atop the NFC West…and yet all anyone is talking about today is his crazy post-game handshake/brawl. Harbaugh leaped for joy when the clock struck zero in his game against the Lions, then heartily shook hands and backslapped Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Say what you will about Schwartz’s reaction (the Detroit head coach stormed after Harbaugh and a mild-shoving match ensued between the two teams on their way to the locker rooms), but this all could have been avoided without Harbaugh’s overly excited handshake.
This isn’t the first time Harbaugh has been involved in a post-game incident as a coach. Back when he ran the Stanford football program, Harbaugh had some strong words for then-USC coach Pete Carroll during the post-game handshake of a USC blowout victory. I think Harbaugh is an amazing coach and the front-runner for the Coach of the Year award. I also think he needs to take a class with Mrs. Manners on how to conduct himself after both victory and defeat. What do you think? Is Harbaugh to blame? Schwartz? Should both of them grow up and just act like adults?
2. If your team is leading in the fourth quarter, prepare for a loss
You read that right – NO lead is safe this year. Through five weeks, the NFL had already seen 28 fourth quarter comebacks. Week 6 featured three more (Atlanta, New England and San Francisco all won after trailing at some point in the final period.) In other words, never turn off the TV until you’ve seen the two coaches shake hands with each other – or wrestle with each other (if you’re a Lions or Niners fan).
3. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league right now
I mean Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the league right now. Wait, what?! I’m so confused. After the early games, I was absolutely convinced that no player had more control over his team than Rodgers, who surgically picked apart a completely overwhelmed St. Louis Rams team in a home blowout. Then I watched Tom Brady struggle for 58 minutes against Bob Ryan’s aggressive Dallas Cowboys defense...before leading an incredibly efficient and lethal two-minute march down the field for the game-winning score. Rodgers looked like he never had to kick it into high gear against an overmatched opponent. Brady struggled but ultimately came through when it mattered most against a talented defense. So which performance was better and who is the better player right now?
4. The Eagles are right where they want to be…
…well, not really. But they are way closer to first place in their division than it feels. After Sunday’s road win over the Redskins, Philly sits at 2-4, only two games behind the wobbly Giants heading into their week off. Once they rest up, they get back on the field with three straight home games, all of them winnable (Week 8: stumbling Dallas, Week 9: bumbling Chicago, Week 10: stumbling and bumbling Arizona). It’s been a wild and wobbly start to the season for Michael Vick and his “Dream Team,” but it’s far from over yet. Do YOU think the Eagles can rally for a playoff spot? A Super Bowl run? A Super Bowl victory? No one was asking that question before Sunday, but the talented Eagles did just enough in Week 6 to make them contenders all over again.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Who excelled and who came up short this week. Nominate your own in the comments below!
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT: 146 rushing yards, 1 TD
Michael Turner, ATL: 139 rushing yards, 2 TD
Julius Peppers, CHI: 2 sacks, 2 tackles
Rex Grossman, WAS: 9-for-22, 143 yards, 0 TD, 4 INTs
Drayton Florence, BUF: three pass interference penalties, one missed tackle
Chad OchoCinco, NE: 0 catches, 0 yards